Showcase Sony FE90mm F2.8 G Macro OSS

tomO2013

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I got a lend of this lens for a little bit today.

Unfortunately my camera had only just come back from the camera shop after a service where they had reset everything after the service. I had no idea that my camera had defaulted back to medium quality jpeg, so these images have a bit of jpeg compression artifacting and over-sharpening from Sony's out of camera jpeg engine. I've tried to correct with a little softening and some colour curves/clarity.
(Keep in mind that I am NOT a macro photographer and have much to learn about macro composition etc...)

Enjoy.

View attachment 61524
Eye'm looking at you! by tom.ohle, on Flickr


View attachment 61525
Ant Food! by tom.ohle, on Flickr


Drops
by tom.ohle, on Flickr
 
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tomO2013

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It's a staggeringly sharp optic. Surprisingly lighter in hand than it's size would indicate and build quality is very good. It's reminiscent of older Minolta or Nikon glass - solid with a nice turn to the mechanical focus mechanism that I have since missed with the modern fly by wire. This reminds me that it's possible to have both. It's something that I hope Sony introduce to future lenses.
For the eye ball shot the lens hood was touching my very tired (and somewhat pissed at me) models face so very close focus.
Removing the lens hood looks to get you slightly closer if memory serves.

OSS comes in handy for preventing shake when you stop down but for some shots (such as the ant) I'd have benefitted from stopping down further. Except for the ant shot, these were all shot hand held at dusk under natural light. For the ant, I didn't have any lighting modifiers so I made do with what I had and went mcguyver with the torch mode on my phone!

In terms of focus speed it is slow compared to the FE55, 35 or 28mm on an A7ii in lower light (ISO6400 - 8000). On the A7s with latest firmware it is quicker for me. In good light it's adequately fast and certainly useable for portraits (faster than e.g. 85mm A-mount on LAEA4) but not as fast as the FE55 1.8 Sonar.
Setting the focus limiter to infinity definitely speeds up focus speeds. When the focus limiter is set to macro mode it slows down noticeably.
Compared to other macros', I'm not really a macro shooter and have limited experience with an Olympus and Canon macro lens previously. That being said, it doesn't feel any slower or faster than an Olympus 60mm F2.8 (my frame of reference) and I'd say it's faster than the Canon 100mm from memory.

Could it be used as an auto focusing portrait lens? I'm going to try test this out and report back.
 

quezra

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Ok I got the lens today at nearly 5 pm and dinner and kids interrupted most of my time. Light was poor by the time I got round to shooting anything (about 9 pm-ish) but here's what I have so far.

(Disclaimer: I know nothing about macro and bought this as a portrait lens).

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F/11 ISO 1,600

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F/2.8 ISO 1,600

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F/22 ISO 3,200

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F/2.8 ISO 1,250 (focus may be a little off as it was handheld pointed at some flooring)

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F/2.8 ISO 1,600 (this is the side fabric of one of the chairs in my house)

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F/8 ISO 1,600 (a beat up old LED flashlight)

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F/8 ISO 1,600 (a cushion cover)

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F/5.6 ISO 1,600

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F/5.6 ISO 1,600
 

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quezra

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All are raws processed in Capture One still in default settings (I made zero changes other than export to JPEG).

Impressions about the lens:

First some cons:
- It's more hunty than Zeiss lenses (not as much micro-contrast?)
- Plastic lens hood (I've been spoilt by Zeiss hoods) :(
- It's big
- May be my technique with a new lens but the OSS seems to be only about a stop or slightly more in terms of effectiveness

Pros:
- Excellent sharpness
- Great out of focus fall off
- Lighter than it looks (the smaller 16-35/4 is heavier)
- My god the sharpness is stunning for such high ISOs I couldn't believe what I was seeing
- Love the manual focus ring (if it is focus by wire it sure doesn't feel like it)
- Focus limiter switch is great
- Build quality is definitely better than any non-Zeiss-branded Sony lens I've owned (previously the most expensive of these I've owned is the 18-200LE which doesn't hold a candle to this)
- Sharp sharp sharp!

Can't wait to take this little baby for a real walk around tomorrow!

Edit: Oh a portrait!
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quezra

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Oh heck I'm going to call it right now. Those waiting for a 70-200/2.8 lens from Sony? This here is it. It's so goddamn sharp you'll be able to crop this sucker on an A7R II and have your 200mm reach for anything other than gigantic wall-sized prints. This is as big a lens as I want for short tele. I'm so in love. 70-200/4 GAS totally cured!
 
P

pbizarro

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"First some cons:
- It's more hunty than Zeiss lenses (not as much micro-contrast?)
- Plastic lens hood (I've been spoilt by Zeiss hoods) :(
- It's big
- May be my technique with a new lens but the OSS seems to be only about a stop or slightly more in terms of effectiveness"

Macro lenses tend to "hunt" more for AF because they have a much longer focusing range. It may help to use the focusing limiter switch.

Macro lenses with AF and image stabilization are also larger than normal 85 or 90mm lenses...

Effectiveness of image stabilization decreases as the focusing distance decreases.
 

quezra

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You're completely right. I tried some shooting at night at 1/4 and 1/5 handheld and the images came out sharp enough. It was just me trying to shoot macro + OSS and it wasn't working out so well.

I was using the focus limiter, but as I mentioned it was indoors in my house and macro needs more light than regular shooting so this is just part of the game. Anyway those were very fast first impressions. I think I quite like this lens. I would like the Batis even more for what I really like doing (portraits), but on a tight budget it's nicer to have a more versatile lens just as a practical matter.
 

tomO2013

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Got chatting to this lovely lady today. She was chatting with me about the first nations on Canada day. I really enjoyed the chat with her.

I had the 90mm mounted so asked her if she would mind me taking her picture. She obliged.

Please click through for bigger version.

Thanks for looking,

Tom.


Wise
by tom.ohle, on Flickr
 

quezra

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Took the lens for a bokeh torture test yesterday. I have to say I have zero complaints on bokeh, which is incredible because I do not normally associate "clinical sharpness" and "good bokeh" together on the same lens.

f/22
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f/16
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f/8
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f/5.6
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f/4
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f/2.8
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And just a couple more to show how ridiculously sharp this lens is:
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I stand by the slow focusing thing though, it is not the fastest and at times there was a dreaded hunt even when I had the focus limiter set correctly (luckily it was macro, I will have to see how it does at a wedding in a week's time).
 

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tomO2013

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For portraiture this lens does a surprisingly good job. It is exceptionally sharp. His eyes have not been enhanced.
I'll post some macros later and do a brief write up of my findings after a week of using it :)


Top Hat
by tom.ohle, on Flickr
 

pworden

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Amin Sabet

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tomO2013

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Hi Amin,

I noted similar above for AF and portraiture. Have you tried doing your portraiture with the limiter set to full.
Even low light on A7ii I do that - it's not amazing in the ISO6400 range, but its def a little quicker than relying on focus limiter which should be the faster of the two when the subject falls within positive result range of the focus limiter.

A7s is much faster with this lens which is very strange.
 

serhan

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Great shots Amin. Very nice 3D pop with it. I started to think that I should trade my ZF 100 Makro for this esp after seeing it is beating the Otus family though they were shot on D800:

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I have been playing with Batis 85mm and also slows down in low light, but today my experience was better at dusk light from window w/ A7 II. I might be hitting min focus also. Usually pdf points are too small to work in low light and I think each A7 camera improves -1EV, but even new A7R2 is not at the level of A7S @ -4EV. I used the mf but I still prefer the manual lenses for mf and it is much more easier with rf lenses. I have to find if I can shut the auto enlargement with the focus wheel. How is the mf with FE90mm?
 

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